By Siree Yaviraj
Jun 15, 2020
The new face of co-living
Designed for the “millennial-minded,” the 412-room lyf Funan Singapore—Southeast Asia’s largest co-living property—blends the social life of a hostel with the privacy and comfort of a hotel and the serviceability of a shared apartment. What makes lyf stand out, though, is its playful design, which matches a minimalist industrial vibe with bright explosions of color. There are spaces for residents to mingle, work out, do laundry, collaborate and cook —each zone more Instagram-ready than the last; there’s even a human-sized hamster wheel. A lyf app facilitates effortless on-the-go digital bookings and payments, while weekly social programs encourage participation in TED talks, craft workshops, jam session and the like. lyfbyascott.com; doubles from S$150. — S.V.
Buzzy Chinatown boutique
A playful makeover in the Chinatown area of Keong Saik sees a converted shophouse transformed into a four-star guesthouse with big-time personality. Rooms are smart and cozy, some with loft beds, one with an open-air ceramic bath, while interiors—the bar, the lobby, the lift well—sport exuberant jungle motifs and the odd neon sign. Communal spaces make impromptu games of ping pong or rooftop- courtyard beers a distinct possibility, while diners might have a Wes Anderson moment in the hotel’s cute DIY noodle bar. solohahotels.com; doubles from S$133.— B.V.V.O.
Momo’s, Kuala Lumpur
For social butterflies
This cool new 99-room activity hive is the stylish little sister to The Chow Kit by Ormond. Convention here sees roving hosts checking you in with coffee or cocktails, socializing at weekly events and live gigs, and hanging out at the casual in-house diner, Momosita’s. Perfect for those who intend to spend most of their daylight hours out and about, the funky and functional guestrooms meet at the apex of comfort and affordability. They are minimalist nooks hewn of concrete and blond wood, each with a rain shower and boutique toiletries—rare luxuries at this price point. stayatmomos.com; doubles from US$40. — G.M.
Josh Hotel, Bangkok
Retro style and hidden jazz
In the leafy suburb of Ari, removed from the blare of Sukhumvit, the new Josh Hotel seems to have been made especially for Instagram. The pool is a picture of 60s glam, dressed in pastel pinks and blues, while neat-as-a-button guest rooms feature Midcentury pieces and an eccentric collection of wall art. There’s also, naturally, a record store where you can pick up some obscure vinyl. No hipster hangout would be complete without a speakeasy hiding behind a nondescript door, which is where “The Key” Room No. 72 comes in—a dimly lit den where you can enjoy a carefully mixed martini or two before turning in for the night. joshhotel.com; doubles from Bt1,246. — B.V.V.O.